#AskSpirus: How festive is your workplace?
This month we jump right on the Christmas bandwagon and ask Cambridge businesses how festive they are. Is it a case of bah-humbug or jingle bells for the corporates in Cambridge? With big players like AstraZeneca looking to join our amazing city of opposites, we think this could be the crucial information they need to know!
We asked 20 Cambridge corporates what happens at Christmas, if anything, at their place of work. Only 2 companies said that they don’t do ANYTHING at Christmas (no tree, no party. We shan’t name names…).
The task of decorating the office seems most often to fall to the receptionist, while in bigger companies, it usually involves one particular person (or team) who gets particularly enthusiastic, and goes above and beyond to get the festive spirit going.
Our favourites are Cyan Technology, where on their Christmas Jumper Day, employees will donate £2 to charity and wear their Christmas jumpers with pride, and a billing software company which runs a competition for the best decorated desk! Can we see the pictures pleeeease?!
In all seriousness though, how big a deal is Christmas to employees? Could we really get away with doing nothing? Not if you want your team to stay happy, it seems. Our research indicates that staff expect at least something special to happen at this time of year. And woe betide the company who sets a precedent one year for celebration and then doesn’t follow through the next. If you let your employees have a half day on Christmas Eve one year, don’t expect them to be happy about longer hours the next!
It seems the perception is that some celebration of Christmas, whether it’s a party, a Secret Santa, a decoration-fest or an early finish, is way to say thank you to staff and customers for their support. Though, interestingly, some companies, although happy to celebrate, didn’t want to shout about it. Has Christmas become uncool? What do you think?
Finally, to finish with some food for thought. Our research has uncovered an intriguing little loophole. With frantic diaries, family commitments and end-of-year exhaustion, sometimes a pre-Christmas celebration isn’t the answer everyone wants. But how about cheering up the darkness and post-Christmas misery of January with a fabulous New Year party instead? Once you factor in the better value available for events, then a jovial January seems like a very good idea indeed.
We’re in – who’s joining us?